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Energy policies relating to alternative energy

Current energy policies are still based heavily on natural resources. Meanwhile, the trend is increasingly toward alternative resources, such as wind power.

It's only a matter of time before natural resources, such as petroleum, are depleted. Petroleum, a fossil-based energy source deposited across millions of years, is used to produce fuel or electricity. Taking stock of the fact that 260 billion barrels (one barrel = 159 liters) of oil were extracted over the last 11 years, it's evident that the world's petroleum resources will be depleted one day. New developments in solar or wind power are aimed at providing alternative energy sources that will enable us to maintain our current standard of living. Petroleum is also required by the chemical industry to manufacture special plastics.

The advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources

When discussing the subject of petroleum and alternative energy, one must bear the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Our resources are running short . Because we cannot count on petroleum for the future, there will come a time when everyone will rely on the efficiency of wind power and other alternative energy sources . Unlike petroleum, wind power can be managed to ensure that it constantly renews itself. Wind power meanwhile makes it possible to have enough resources to supply entire cities. Petroleum has the additional disadvantage of harming the environment through CO2 emissions. This has resulted in increasing demand for resources such as wind power. Wind power can be classified into different categories. A class 4 wind turbine can meanwhile provide resources in a much more efficient manner than petroleum resources for instance. In addition, unlike petroleum, resources such as wind power offer a decentralized energy supply. This means that in contrast to petroleum, the utilization of wind power does not require a large power plant. Instead, it makes "transporting" the energy easier and faster. Decentralized wind power entails a massive infrastructure change. Resources such as wind power certainly bring disadvantages when it comes to the environment, although they pale in comparison to the disasters that can result from petroleum. The utilization of our resources determines how we continue to maintain our standard of living. This makes it important to continue public discourse on the issues of wind power and petroleum.

Resource shortage

It's only a matter of time before there is no petroleum left. For this reason, from a resource standpoint we should already be moving toward heavy reliance on wind power instead of petroleum. After all, from a pure scientific point of view, new petroleum resources won't be available for millions of years. Unlike petroleum, wind power is a resource that will never run dry. In Germany alone, wind power is serving as a popular alternative resource to petroleum. The demand for wind power will increase in line with the consumption of petroleum. For this reason, it is imperative that we gradually move away from petroleum and make more use of wind power or other alternative energy resources. The environmental pollution caused by petroleum is reason enough for an environmentally-conscious society to use solar or wind power. In contrast to petroleum, wind power is significantly better for the environment and offers a unique resource balance.

Power and Electrical Engineering

This topic covers issues related to energy generation, conversion, transportation and consumption and how the industry is addressing the challenge of energy efficiency in general.

innovations-report provides in-depth and informative reports and articles on subjects ranging from wind energy, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy and energy efficiency to fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

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Shedding new light on the charging of lithium-ion batteries

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New technique lets researchers map strain in next-gen solar cells

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Newly created magnets are cheaper, more effective and 'smarter'

Ferromagnets, or more precisely, magnets -- are extremely demanded materials in modern electronics. The magnets present in almost every device -- TVs, computers, fridges, cars, smartphones, etc.

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Chameleon's tongue strike inspires fast-acting robots

Robots can catch live insects in the blink of an eye

Chameleons, salamanders and many toads use stored elastic energy to launch their sticky tongues at unsuspecting insects located up to one-and-a-half body...

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Ionic channels in carbon electrodes for efficient electrochemical energy storage

The rapid development of electronic devices and power equipment, such as new-energy vehicles and robots, has sparked extensive demand for portable power sources.

Electrochemical energy storage, mainly based on ionic intercalation/motion or adsorption/diffusion in electrodes, has been utilized in last two centuries....

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Heat Pumps with Climate-Friendly Refrigerant Developed for Indoor Installation

The use of environmental energy to supply heating results in less carbon dioxide emissions. Also the emissions from the electricity generation are steadily decreasing. Therefore, heat pumps are a key heating technology for the future. On the other hand, heat pumps still primarily use refrigerants that are harmful to the environment. Now researchers at Fraunhofer ISE, however, have developed a climate-friendly alternative, which uses propane, a natural gas. The greenhouse gas potential is about 500 times less than conventional refrigerants and thus extremely low.

Another advantage is that the new brine-to-water prototype requires only one fourth of the refrigerant compared to conventional heat pumps available on the...

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Energy Flow in the Nano Range

It is crucial for photovoltaics and other technical applications, how efficiently energy spreads in a small volume. With new methods, the path of energy in the nanometer range can now be followed precisely.

Plants and bacteria lead the way: They can capture the energy of sunlight with light-harvesting antennas and transfer it to a reaction centre. Transporting...

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Biologically inspired skin improves robots' sensory abilities (Video)

Sensitive synthetic skin enables robots to sense their own bodies and surroundings - a crucial capability if they are to be in close contact with people. Inspired by human skin, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed a system combining artificial skin with control algorithms and used it to create the first autonomous humanoid robot with full-body artificial skin.

The artificial skin developed by Prof. Gordon Cheng and his team consists of hexagonal cells about the size of a two-euro coin (i.e. about one inch in...

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New electrolyte stops rapid performance decline of next-generation lithium battery

Argonne's new electrolyte mixture stabilizes silicon anodes during cycling.

The lithium-ion battery is ubiquitous. Because of its versatility, this battery can be tailored to powering cell phones, laptops, power tools or electric...

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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

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Im Focus: Dresden researchers discover resistance mechanism in aggressive cancer

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Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

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